Chills & Creeps 2
He looks at his friends. “If I don’t have the strength to climb back up, you’ll pull me, right?”
“Sure,” Mason says.
“And if anything happens … you’ll get help.”
“Like if what happens?”
“I don’t know. Anything.”
“Sure, don’t worry about it.”
Oliver picks up the rope and throws it down the well. He takes a few deep breaths and climbs over the edge, clutching the rope. As he sits with his feet dangling over the abyss, he almost regrets it.
“You can do it, man,” Mason whispers behind him.
That gives Oliver the courage. He lets himself slide down and hangs by the rope. The cold, clammy air immediately engulfs him as he starts climbing downwards. Oliver is pretty good at sports, and he has no real problem in holding his own weight as he works his way down the rope. He walks his feet down the inside of the well like a rock-climber.
The darkness draws in closer, the smell intensifies, the temperature drops, as Oliver descends farther and farther down.
He looks up. The opening is now a light-blue circle, the dark silhouettes of Felix and Mason peering down at him.
“You all right?” Felix asks, his voice ringing hollowly around Oliver.
“Sure, I’m fine,” Oliver says, but he doesn’t feel very fine. He looks down, but can still only see darkness beneath him.
How much longer do I have to climb down? What if the well just keeps going? That’s silly, I heard the rock hit the bottom. But what if something is waiting for me down there?
He recalls the figurine in the house, and suddenly he can vividly imagine the churel standing at the bottom of the well, staring up at him in bated silence, the long black tongue slithering hungrily across the broken lips, as she waits patiently for him to come close enough so she can reach up her abnormally long arms and grab him by the ankles …
Oliver is close to panic. He clutches the rope feverishly, closing his eyes hard, unable to take even one step farther down.
“Something wrong?” Mason asks.
Oliver is breathing rapidly through his nose, trying desperately to keep the panic down, telling himself over and over again that nothing is waiting below him except for the bottom of the well. He could really have used a flashlight right now. But after a few seconds he gets a little hold of himself, and he’s able to call out: “No, still fine!”
He climbs down another yard. Two. Three.
How deep is this goddamn thing?
Then, finally, his foot finds solid ground. Carefully, he steps onto the bottom of the well. The ground is soft, but not soft enough for him to sink in. He very hesitantly lets go of the rope.
“Are you down?” Mason asks, the voice causing a series of echoes.
“Well done! Do you see anything down there?”
Oliver looks around, his eyes are starting to make out the surroundings. The walls are glistening from moisture, and moss is growing in between the stones. The ground is mud and dried up rosehip leaves.
“No!” he answers. “There’s nothing down here.”
“Can you see the stars?”
Oliver looks up and sees the tiny outlines of Mason and Felix. “Move aside!”
They pull back. A couple of branches from the rosehip are visible, but other than that he has a clear view of the sky. It seems a lot darker than before, as if time has been fast-forwarded, and as he looks at the dark-blue circle, something amazing happens: a tiny star appears. And one more. And one more. Soon he counts a dozen.
“Yes!” he shouts. “Yes, I see them now!”
No answer from above.
Still no answer.
They’re probably playing a joke on me. Typical Mason to—
Oliver hears something rustling behind him, and he spins around, seeing something move on the wall and almost screams when he realizes what he’s looking at.
It’s the rope. It’s quickly rising. Oliver stares at it dumbly for a second, then he jumps to grab it, but the end is already out of reach and still rising.
“All right, very funny!” he calls out. “Give it back now!”
But the rope continues upwards until it disappears out of sight. Then, Mason’s head pops up. “Howdy!”
“It’s not funny,” Oliver says. “Give me back the rope. I want to get up now.”
“You’ll get it in a moment,” Mason promises. “First I just need to hear you say something.”
“That you were the one who told on me.”
Of course it’s one of Mason’s stupid jokes—but there’s something in his voice Oliver doesn’t care for. Something which tells him this might not be a joke.
“It wasn’t me—you know that!”
“No, I don’t know. All I know is I was made a fool in front of the whole damn school, and everyone is saying you did it.”
Oliver throws out his arms, even though he knows Mason can’t see him. “That’s just rumors. Brad probably started them. Felix said—”
“Felix said what I told him to say.” Mason looks to the side. “Felix? Come over here.”
A moment later, Felix appears. “Uhm … I really don’t like this,” he mutters.
“Shut up. Tell Oliver you lied about Brad.”
“Oh. Yeah, that was a lie. You told me to say that.” Felix looks at Mason and whispers: “Shouldn’t we let him up now?”
Mason doesn’t seem to hear him. “Did you get that, Oliver? You thought you would get away with telling on me, that I was blaming someone else. But I tricked your ass, and you went for it, hook, line and sinker. And you’re not getting up from there until you confess.”
“Come on, Mason,” Felix pleads. “You said we were only going to tease him a little.”
Mason shoves Felix out of sight and stares down at Oliver. Even though he’s only a dark shadow against the blue sky, Oliver can feel his eyes. “How about it, Oliver? Do you confess?”
Oliver is really afraid now. Mason is acting totally strange, like something has possessed him. Even his voice sounds distorted from down here.
“It wasn’t me, Mason,” he says.
“What? I couldn’t hear you.”
“It wasn’t me!”
Mason groans. “Come on, just fucking admit it, man. I know it was you! Everyone knows it was you! You stabbed me in the back.”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because you didn’t want me to get a better score than you.”
“That’s crazy! I don’t give a fuck who gets the higher score!”
“Confess. Then we can go back to being friends again.”
“I can’t confess to something I didn’t do!” Oliver is shouting at the top of his voice now, his own words resounding all around him. “And friends don’t do this kind of shit to each other!”
Mason falls quiet. Oliver hopes he got through. Then, he hears Mason mumble: “Friends don’t tell on each other either.” Raising his voice, he goes on: “Do you know what my dad did to me when he got the call from school? Do you know?”
Oliver knows Mason’s dad can get violent; the day after the exam Mason came to school with bruises on his neck.
“I’m sorry, Mason, I really am. But that wasn’t my fault …”
Suddenly, Mason disappears from sight.
Oliver hears Felix ask: “What are you doing?”
A moment later, the opening starts to grow smaller, as Mason pushes the plate back over the well.
Oliver panics. “No! Don’t do that! Stop!” He jumps and screams, tries in vain to climb the wall. “Mason! Don’t! Please, don’t!”
The plate stops halfway, and Mason’s silhouette appears once more. “You have something to say?”
“Seriously, Mason. You can’t do this!”
“Yes, I can. Until you confess.”
Oliver is close to tears. “All right, I confess. I confess!”
“Confess to what?”
“I was the one who told on you.”
Mason hesitates for a moment, then shakes his head. “You don’t mean that. You’re just saying it to get up from there.”
“No! It was me!”
“Listen, Oliver, here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to write a message to your mom from your phone. I’m going to tell her you’ll spend the night at my place. Felix and I will come back tomorrow morning. Spending the night down there will probably make you more honest.”
“No, Mason! You can’t do that! Mason! Felix! Felix, help! Tell my parents!”
“Catch!” Mason calls out and throws something down the well.
Oliver jumps aside, as the thing lands on the ground. It’s the water bottle from his bag.
“See ya!” Mason says from above. “Say hi to the churel from us.”
Then the plate is pushed into place, and the darkness becomes complete. Dirt sifts down and hits Oliver, but he doesn’t even notice; he is too busy screaming ...
Want to keep reading?
Get your copy now!
or read for free with